Scottish Premiership winners and losers - Celtic's £7m ace, Lennon's tactical win over Gerrard, rubbish Rangers, Livi on the rise, Hearts and Hibs unrest, 4-4-2, Angelo Alessio and more

A look back at the weekend's Scottish Premiership action.

Christopher Jullien was imperious for Celtic. Picture: SNS


Sam Stubbs

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Alan Stubbs' reputation in Scottish football has taken a blow after leading Hibs to Scottish Cup success in 2016. Following a short spell at Rotherham United he took over at St Mirren on their return to the Scottish Premiership. He did his best in sending them back to the Championship, building an inadequate team before getting the sack early in the season.

Christopher Jullien was imperious for Celtic. Picture: SNS

It seems his son, who joined Hamilton on loan from Middlesbrough, is going to try and redeem the Stubbs name with his performances in the heart of the Accies defence.

Brian Rice's men hit back twice through George Oakley to earn a deserved draw at Tynecastle. In fact, if they were a bit more adventurous they could have easily picked up all three points.

Accies have had their defensive issues in their time in the top flight with a real cast of waifs, strays and impostors. However, in Stubbs they have someone they can build the defence around.

He made a umber of timely interventions at Tynecastle, kept Conor Washington quiet and displayed a real stature, both on the ground and in the air.


The West Lothian side continued their excellent start to the season, making it nine games unbeaten with a hard-fought win over St Mirren at the Tony Macaroni Stadium.

Impressively they did so with a number of first-team players out, including Ricki Lamie, Scott Pittman and Steven Lawson. There were six summers signings in the starting XI, they were only able to name six subs, while nine of the 14 players involved had played fewer than ten games.

Oh, and manager Gary Holt wasn't on the sidelines having been taken to hospital due to a weight-training injury.

Under the former Scotland midfielder and assistant coach David Martindale Livi are beginning to evolve. New signings Nicky Devlin, Robbie Crawford, Marvin Bartley and Lyndon Dykes have been in great form, while players who have remained at the club have upped their game.

(There will be an in-depth piece about Livingston on the site this week)

Angelo Alessio

The full-time whistle went at McDiarmid Park. The Italian turned and made his way to the Kilmarnock fans, housed in the north corner of the main stand, before showing his delight at picking up his first three points as Killie boss - a 1-0 win over St Johnstone thanks to a Stephen O'Donnell goal.

It was clear to see the win meant the world to the under-fire boss. Killie fans responded with a rapturous applause back to their manager.

Alessio has had a difficult job. Taking over from someone the support referred to as 'Sir' (Steve Clarke). On top of that, transfer business has been slow and largely uninspiring.

It is a gradual process but there are positive shoots. A brand new back line, including Dario Del Fabro who had only just signed, kept a clean sheet, the third in a row.

There is, of course, plenty of work still to do but Alessio may not be the dud many thought.

Neil Lennon

The Northern Irishman was quite right to point out to critics that he and Celtic deserve more respect after seeing off Rangers with ease at Ibrox. One bad half against Cluj seemed set to be the stick which would be used to constantly beat him with.

But in easing through to the Europa League group stages and wins over Hearts and Rangers has eased plenty of pressure.

Once again, Lennon got the better of the man in the opposition dugout. Celtic pressed their hosts into constant errors. It wasn't a fantastic match but 2-0 was the least the visitors deserved.

Christopher Jullien

There were some comparisons with Virgil van Dijk when the Frenchman completed a £7million deal from Toulouse. Early showings, however, in games against Dunfermline and Motherwell suggested more Du Wei than VVD

Suspicions had been aroused when he started on the bench in five of the six Champions League qualifiers.

At Ibrox, the 26-year-old announced himself as a Celtic player. He, alongside Nir Bitton, was imperious. Competent on the ball, it was his defensive skills which really came to the fore. Big headed clearances, timely tackles and a general self-assuredness.

It is hoped that before his shorts were washed by the Celtic kitman, his pockets were emptied for Jermain Defoe.

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Allan Campbell

Anyone who watched the Hibs midfield against St Johnstone, or against anyone this season, must have feared for their safety. Without an enforcer like Marvin Bartley or Mark Milligan, Allan Campbell was going to run over Stevie Mallan, Scott Allan, et al. And that is exactly what happened.

Campbell resembles the Tasmanian Devil. Rather than eating everything in his path, he steamrollers them. And he was at his ferocious best against Hibs, helping dominate the midfield.

The 21-year-old needs to refine certain aspects of his play, especially when in the final third, but with the attitude and determination he possesses he will constantly strive to improve.

Craig Bryson

Aberdeen eased past Ross County with arguably their best performance of the season. Derek McInnes has rightly come in for criticism from the Dons support - as detailed here. They seemed to have stalled and their football can be turgid.

However, in Craig Bryson the team has an influential midfielder. That was on show against the Staggies as the ex-Kilmarnock star helped boss the game in a midfield which looks like it has a nice balance, with Funso Ojo and Lewis Ferguson.

Out wide, there were improved performances from Niall McGinn and Ryan Hedges.


Steven Gerrard

The Rangers boss held his hands up after the Celtic defeat and admitted his team deserved to lose, bemoaning his players' performances, but also noting his own part in the loss.

Many would have been thinking, with an expectant crowd behind them and the favourites tag, the home side would have come out gunning for their rivals as they attempted to lay a marker down. That, however, wasn't the case.

Neil Lennon's men started stronger and Rangers never once reached their opponent's level. Celtic's vulnerability was thought to be in defence and at left-back but the Ibrox side played far too narrow to cause any trouble having set up with five central midfielders behind Jermain Defoe.

Damningly they couldn't even keep the ball.

Jordan Jones

The definition of head's gone. Running across to boot Moritz Bauer in the air and earn a deserved red card.

"That's not how you appease Rangers fans. You create goals and score goals if you're a wide man. That's how you get fans on your side - not kicking people in the boards ten yards away.

"He deserves the red card, he deserves the ban and he's got everything to do now to get back into my team."

To add insult to injury, he was pictured walking out of Ibrox on crutches.

Capital unrest

The back page of the Edinburgh Evening News said it all: "Capital Unrest". Hearts and Hibs fans want their managers to leave.

Craig Levein was treated to fans imploring him to go in song, with fans' polls backing that viewpoint up with around 90 per cent agreeing his time is up.

Across the city, Hibs were desperate in defeat at Motherwell where Paul Heckingbottom continues to fail to inspire.

Both teams have one fixtures before the Edinburgh derby. If both are in charge for the game at Easter Road there could be fans on both sides hoping for a hopeless 0-0 to push their respective manager towards the exit door.

Steven Whittaker

It wouldn't be a surprise if the ex-Rangers defender is still in footballing triage today. The Hibs physios trying to unwrap him like a set of Christmas lights which had been dumped in a cupboard and forgotten about until required.

He was torn to bits by the pace and trickery of the unpredictable but inconsistent Sherwin Seedorf and Jermaine Hylton.

Whittaker was not alone in being well below par for the Hibees but his inability to get close to either of the wingers for their goals was simply not good enough.

Christophe Berra

The Hearts captain put his team back in the lead with a towering header at Tynecastle. However, an argument could be made for him being the poorest performer on the pitch.

His use of the ball has started to infuriate the home crowd with one long ball provoking boos, while his normal dependency was missing when it came to the basics of defending.

He moved out of the way far too easily for Hamilton's first goal, allowing George Oakley to then put pressure on Aidy White before poking the ball under Colin Doyle.

Sean McLoughlin defending

For the second week running Livingston took advantage of some hopeless defending. This time it was St Mirren's turn.

On loan defender Sean McLoughlin has been a good signing from Hull City but it was an afternoon to forget for the Irishman.

He completely misread the corner and lost Alan Lithgow for the first before one of the most pathetically hilarious attempts at shutting down Chris Erskine in the build-up for the second. He stuck a foot out as if he was nervously checking the temperature of a bath he had just run as the former Partick Thistle forward nipped past him.

From what we have seen so far, however, this season, the performance can be put down as a blip.


Ross County were well beaten by Aberdeen at Pittodrie, Billy Mckay's penalty miss summing it up nicely.

One of the key issues was their 4-4-2 going up against Aberdeen's 4-3-3. A 4-4-2 which included Iain Vigurs in the midfield pairing.

Vigurs is a talented football and County could get away with such a set up in the Championship, but not in the Premiership.

As seen the previous week against Livingston, he is not adept at tracking players or switching to a defensive mindset. It meant Tom Grivosti had to put in a heroic performance to put out fire right, left and centre.

It is a result and performance which could be beneficial for the club in the long run.